Birth of Kaylee Elizabeth
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November 11th, 2011, 12:26 PM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: BC, Canada
I finally finished writing my birth story! This is quite long.. it's my inner writer coming out.
If you read this whole thing, thank you! I'm really excited to share my experience.
Around 5am on Tuesday, November 2nd, I woke up needing to go to the bathroom, as per usual. I sat up, put my feet on the floor and as I moved to stand up I felt a very distinct gush of fluid! I knew instantly that it was my water breaking, not that Iíd peed myself, and quickly made my way to the bathroom. I must have said something because Ryan woke up and asked what was wrong and became instantly concerned when I told him what it was.
I gushed more fluid on the toilet. My PJ bottoms were of course soaked and I could see some of my plug there too, but still not bloody. I didnít have any contractions at that point either. I cleaned up and explained to Ryan that I didnít have contractions and I knew we had some time before we had to get to the hospital to get checked out. I was very hungry and wanted breakfast.. I also needed to finish packing our bag for the hospital and I wanted those PJ bottoms Iíd been wearing, so I decided to do laundry!
I quickly discovered that I had a pretty steady leak of fluid so I put on one of my Always Infinity pads that Iíd gotten for post-partum and tried to go about business. I cleaned up the kitchen, got laundry on, tried to eat some cereal (wasnít as hungry as I thought, it wasnít going down well) and posted on Facebook.
Finally at 5:21am I had my first contraction. I wasnít 100% sure at first, but it was a distinct cramping. At 5:43 I started using an app (Full Term, for iPhone) I had previously downloaded to track contractions and recorded it. It was 43 seconds long. About 16 minutes later I had my next one, about 33 seconds long. After that they were coming anywhere from 5-8 minutes apart and lasting anywhere from 20-40 seconds.
Around 8:30am they started coming 2-4 minutes apart, but were quick.. lasting 10-30 seconds each. By 9:00 theyíd gone back up to lasting around 40-50 seconds and were coming every 2-4 minutes so we went to the hospital. I was checked into L&D, but the area they take you to to assess you first. I donít really remember what all they did there. Blood pressure, listening to babyís heartbeat, that sort of thing. Watching and timing my contractions and such. At some point I met a doctor who works with mine and he verified that it was indeed my water that had broken (which, by the way, was gushing with every contraction! I went through a lot of pads). He carefully checked my dilation and found I was only 2 cm dilated. They monitored me a bit more but then let me know that they were sending me home until I was 4 cm or better. My question was how on earth would we know if I was 4 cm?? My other question was, how was I going to manage getting home when I was having a contraction every 2-4 minutes??
I understood why they wanted to send me home. It would have been far more comfortable to labor at home for as long as possible before getting stuck at the hospital. Normally I would have been really appreciative of that, but at this point I knew this wasnít going to be slow. My body was in full gear and wasnít stopping any time soon!
They actually sent us home with one of those birthing balls to help me with my pain management. As we were leaving I was still having contractions every 2-3 minutes and with the movement of walking setting off a contraction with almost every 5 steps, it was a very slow trip home. We were sent home around 10.. we live 5 minutes away, but it took so long to get to the van and then to get upstairs once we got in, I donít know how long it really took us to get home. I couldnít be bothered to try and sit on that ball.. it was just contraction after contraction! I wanted to try the shower, but again.. the contractions were just so frequent and getting stronger that I didnít feel I could stand safely in our shower and itís too small for two of us. I ended up on my knees on our bedroom floor, clinging to our bed through each contraction with Ryan at my side trying his best to help me through it. Finally we realized there was absolutely nothing I could do at home to make this any easier and they were coming so frequently, we had to go back to the hospital.
It was around 11:30 when we finally made it back to the hospital. It was pretty obvious when we got there that things were progressing fast so they got us checked in to our room. They were really busy and the only room they had left was different than the normal L&D rooms.. It was still nice and private, but it was much bigger and had double doors because it was actually an isolation room. I donít remember too many details at this point.. I know I was checked and was about 5cm dilated. My main nurse was a wonderful girl named Heidi. Previously I had given permission for a student to observe my labor, so he was there as well.
They let me labor however I wanted. Mostly my contractions were still coming so close together that I didnít do much besides lean on Ryan or the bed through each wave. They offered to take me to a room with a tub or to get in the shower but I still didnít feel like I had the time to do that. I could barely move. There was no walking the halls or anything like that. It was just wave after wave of contractions. By 2pm I was fully dilated and ready to go. I donít remember when my doctor came to see me, but I know he was there at some point and although he wasnít in the room the whole time, he was always on site and came back often. At some point the student who was observing had to leave and another student came in (a girl this time). I didnít mind. I wasnít disturbed by any of the comings and goings of anyone. I was in what some people call ďLaborlandĒ. Nothing mattered to me except getting through each contraction.. and at that point, that included starting to push.
Heidi was an awesome nurse.. Sheís what I would have imagined a doula would have been. She was right there with me coaching me, helping me.. she gave me advice of what to do which was great because I didnít know.. I followed my bodyís cues, but her coaching was a huge help. They didnít want me laboring on my back any more than I did. We tried all sorts of things. At one point they had me on my knees with the bed fully upright and me leaning on the back of it, bearing down. I remember clearly the pain with each contraction, and I also remember I could handle it. As I pushed with each contraction I moaned or made some kind of low noise.. Iím not sure how to describe it. Ryan says I growled. Iím not sure if thatís completely true, but okay. I didnít scream, but I was definitely making a lot of noise. I couldnít imagine not doing it. I had to!
At some point I got off my knees and we tried a side-laying position. I didnít like that at all. We then got me sitting on the bed, but still not flat on my back. I was mostly upright. They tried to do the thing where they brace my legs for me but it didnít seem to help much either. Other than that, I didnít mind the position so I stayed there. My doctor was there through most of this time. He checked me to see if he could feel the babyís head with the push and as I pushed with his fingers in me, he encouraged me and told me I was doing it right and he could feel movement. Whenever I pushed without his fingers it was a bit different, though. Sometimes I would push in the right area, sometimes not quite. Heidi and my doctor both helped and encouraged me, letting me know when I was doing it right.
I was getting pretty annoyed that they used a doppler to check on Kayleeís heartbeat after each contraction. It was nice to not be on the monitor, but it was distracting to get checked every time. But the important thing was she was doing great. Her heartbeat was steady and strong, no decelerations or other signs of stress at all. In fact, it was almost like she didnít care at all about what was going on!
Around 3pm they offered to help things move along by giving me oxytocin (I think thatís what they said.. not sure what type of synthetic oxytocin they meant). I agreed. Iíd been pushing hard and strong for an hour and didnít seem to be getting anywhere. They had to put an IV in my hand, which is one of the things I hate the most. They also had to put that belt monitor on me to keep track of my contractions and Kayleeís heart. Okay, fine. I just wanted to get this done! I was SO ready for her to get out at that point.
Then they did something really interesting. They got out this pole rig (two poles on either side of the bed with a bar between them) that attached to the bed, then wrapped a blanket around the bar so that as I was sitting back on the bed I could grab the two ends of the blanket and as a contraction came, I pulled hard on it and pulled myself up almost off the bed (my legs were put in low stirrups on either side of the poles). Iíd seen variations of this technique in a book about natural labor so I was very impressed to see them try this! I felt it helped, I thought it was working. My doctor checked me a few more times, encouraging me. But something wasnít working. I was fully dilated and pushing strong and hard for 3.5 hours. I was tired and nothing seemed to be moving.
They asked another doctor (I forget what they said his specialty was, but I know he was also a surgeon) to come, examine me, and talk to me. He told me that since Kaylee was tolerating labor very well still I could continue as long as I wanted. I could continue pushing and trying to get her out, they werenít going to rush me or force me to do anything else. But it was his opinion that things just werenít working and I may have to consider a c-section. He explained something else, I donít remember how he put it, but then he said theyíd all leave (my doctor was there too, as well as another nurse who had taken over for Heidi, and the student) so that Ryan and I could discuss this.
My mom had been with me this entire time as well, I forgot to mention that sooner. She kept back and let me do what I needed but at this point she came forward to talk with me and Ryan. I think she knew what my decision would be just by looking at me. I was done. I was exhausted. I had been in labor since 5:30am and the contractions had been strong and fast all day. And Iíd done it all naturally. The only thing Iíd accepted was ďlaughing gasĒ prior to starting to push, and honestly that stuff didnít do a whole lot except make me a little loopy. I felt I had done my natural labor just how I wanted to and it wasnít working. Kaylee was not coming out this way. I told Ryan I needed to do it this way, I needed to do the c-section. He understood and agreed.
The doctors came back and we told them my decision. The surgeon told me he felt that was the best choice I could make and I agreed. I was so done. I kept saying that. But then I got the really hard news.. Since Kaylee was still doing very well and this wasnít considered an emergency, I had to wait for my surgery. I think they said someone was going in to deliver twins and I had to wait. Understandable, but I had to wait while still having contractions. They let me have the laughing gas again, but that was it. They would give me a spinal just before my surgery, no earlier. So I had to wait nearly another 3 hours while still going through strong active labor. They turned off my oxytocin so maybe my contractions wouldnít be so strong, but that didnít seem to help. They were strong, they hurt, I HAD to push through each one, and they were not moving Kaylee at all. She would not come out.
I was finally moved to the OR around 8:20pm. My contractions were still coming extremely frequently. I had to try to shift myself over from the labor bed to the operating table and every little move brought on another contraction and need to push. Finally I was on the table and they were helping sit me up to get that spinal. Again, I had at least two contractions while getting into position for the numbing. Then I was leaning forward on a nurse and a contraction hit as they did the spinal. Somehow I was able to control that one and not move as they did the spinal. I heard them talking.. something about sizes, I think of needles, and I know they had to attempt the spinal more than once.. but finally it was done and they eased me back down. No more contractions. Iíd never been so happy to have a needle stuck in me!
I was fully awake, feeling much better, and very happy. Soon Kaylee would be born and all this work will be done. I was so happy when Ryan was let in and sat with me. I was talkative. I was so relieved and so excited! We chatted away as if we were just sitting together at home. I felt various tugs and pressures as they worked on me and they talked to me, explaining what was going on so Iíd know. The strangest part was when my upper abdominal muscles were jerking on their own! They explained why it was happening.
It seemed like it took forever but suddenly there was the most beautiful sound in the world - Kayleeís first cry. She wasnít even fully out of me yet and she was crying! Strong and clear, she was finally here. Ryan went to see her as they finished getting her out and cutting her cord (he didnít want to do that, which was fine with me). He did the most wonderful thing for me! As she was taken to the scale and cleaned up, he used the video setting on my camera and took video of it, then came back and showed me! He went back to take some pictures too. And it wasnít long before they brought her over and laid her on me. Theyíd released my arms at that point and I was able to hold her for a bit while they still worked on sewing me up. They did have to take Kaylee again for whatever else they had to do, but Ryan went with them and was with her the entire time.
I was left alone for a while as they continued to work on me and Ryan was off with Kaylee, but I was okay. I was a bit emotional and getting impatient, but I was okay. I wasnít in pain anymore and Kaylee was here and perfect. All was perfect! I was impressed that my doctor stayed with us through the entire surgery, as did his resident. My doctor wasnít involved in the surgery, so I donít think he had to stay, but he did anyway. I was so happy with him. Iíd heard stories that your doctor may not be there for the birth because of schedules or whatever, but he was there with me through all of this. Heís a really awesome doctor! He also came to check on me as I was in my room for my stay.. something my doctor who did my surgery last year never did.
Something that I was told later was that while they had me open, the surgeon and my doctor checked out my pelvis and determined there was no way Kaylee would ever have gotten through that, no matter how much I tried. They determined there wasnít any way it would open up enough and that it likely never would. If I got pregnant again, I would be a scheduled c-section, definitely. This news made me feel even better about my decision. I tried my hardest, I did it naturally, I did it right.. but my body just wouldnít allow it. I canít change that. It doesnít matter, because at 8:47pm on November 2nd, Kaylee Elizabeth was born, healthy and strong!
Throughout this whole experience, Ryan was my rock. He was the perfect supporter, coach, guard, everything. He was there for me to lean on, not only physically but emotionally and mentally. He kept me focused.. just gripping his fingers during contractions helped keep me focused and got me through. I honestly donít know if I could have done it without him. I canít remember all that he did or said at this point, but I know he was there like a guiding light. My mom told me later about how impressed she was with the both of us - that we made a perfect team. Sheís right. Heís an awesome husband and instantly became an awesome father.
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